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Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting and joyful experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the inevitable stages in a puppy’s life is teething, which I can attest to as the owner of Georgie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that we adopted as a puppy.
To help your furry friend through this phase, investing in the right teething toys is crucial. When we brought our three-month-old “baby” home, we stockpiled chew toys right away.
In this guide, I’ll explore what to look for in teething toys, the pros and cons of popular options, why puppies go through the teething stage, and some helpful tips to make this phase of life smoother for everyone involved.
5 Things To Look For In Teething Toys
- Freezability: Toys that can be frozen provide extra relief by soothing inflamed gums. The cold sensation helps numb the area and reduces pain. This is the primary differentiator of a toy specifically designed for teething.
- Material: Look for teething toys made from safe and durable materials. Opt for products that are free from harmful chemicals and toxins. Rubber, nylon, and soft rubber-like materials are popular choices.
- Durability: Puppies have strong jaws, so opt for toys that are built to withstand vigorous chewing. This ensures the toy will last throughout the teething phase.
- Size: Choose toys that are an appropriate size for your puppy’s breed and age. The toy should be large enough that it cannot be swallowed or become a choking hazard.
- Texture: Teething toys with various textures can provide relief for sore gums. Some puppies may prefer softer textures, while others may find relief in harder surfaces. A combination of textures often works well.
IMPORTANT: Never leave your dog unattended when chewing on a toy. You should always keep a watchful eye to take it away as soon as it starts to break down or become an ingestion risk.
Best Teething Toys For Puppies
Let’s take a closer look at six different toys for dogs that are teething, tested by my very own pup, Georgie
Our dog Georgie is obsessed with his Hedgehog toy. He carries it around from room to room like it’s his best friend. It’s his go-to cuddle buddy during nap time.
The squishy plush material makes it easy for his small mouth to grip, and it’s lightweight for his growing body to carry with ease. As he gnaws on it, the plus toy provides a satisfying softness for his gums, which massages the soreness.
The squeaky toy inside provides endless hours of fun (for him, anyway) and is a hit for playing fetch. He loves to hold it tightly with his mouth as we try to pry it away from him.
The material is machine washable, allowing us to keep it sanitary and free from the inevitable dirt and saliva that come with puppy playtime.
The only downside to this toy is the feet and nose can fray over time with excessive chewing. Eventually, after a few months, we had to toss out the toy because he chewed it so much, and parts started unraveling. However, it lasted a good 6 months, and we really got our money’s worth with this toy.
The JW Pet Hol-ee Roller is an interactive teething toy and game in one. The holes in the ball allow you to hide treats or stick a long bone inside to entice more play. The rubber design makes it easy to chew while he tries to get what’s inside.
The highlight of this toy is seeing Georgie play with it. He rolls it around on the floor, trying to get the treats out with his snout. Then he takes it to his “place” to chew on it, licking and tossing it until the pieces finally break up, and he gets the reward.
The Hol-ee Roller’s hollow, rubber lattice structure makes it easy for him to grip. The material has just the right amount of give, allowing him to chew on it comfortably while also providing resistance for his growing teeth.
It’s his go-to fetch toy, bouncing around the room and adding an extra element of fun to playtime. The durability of the rubber also means it lasts far longer than some of the other teething toys we’ve tried.
Cleaning the Hol-ee Roller is a breeze. Its open design allows us to rinse it thoroughly. It comes in a variety of colors, and Georgie has no complaints about the toy other than it making his treats too tricky to get to!
Similar to the JW Pet Hol-ee Roller, the West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Puzzle has a hollow, elongated shape to hide treats or peanut butter inside.
What makes the Qwizl a standout teething toy is its durable Zogoflex material and rounded shape. These features make it comfortable for his paws to grip while chewing.
The dishwasher-safe feature of the Zogoflex material ensures a clean and safe chewing experience for Georgie. But I need to use a stick or toothbrush to really get the inside chamber clean.
The treats are a bit harder for Georgie to get to, and often, he gives up trying and falls asleep. That’s the biggest con for this toy. He loves the thrill of the “challenge,” but sometimes it isn’t worth the effort.
Rope toys are a popular and versatile option for puppy teething. They offer a range of benefits, and when used correctly, they can relieve your puppy’s sore gums while also promoting dental health and satisfying their natural chewing instincts. However, it’s critical you supervise playtime closely; the fibers, if ingested, can create intestinal issues.
The Figure-8 design immediately captures Georgie’s attention. The colorful, durable rope loops are not only visually appealing but also offer a variety of textures for him to explore. The tennis balls at each end add an extra layer of excitement as Georgie quickly discovers the joy of chasing and gnawing on them.
Georgie’s daily play sessions turn into acrobatics when we toss the toy in the air, and he chases it around the room. The balls provide an extra bounce factor.
As Georgie’s teething progressed, so did his chewing. The tennis balls at the ends, once vibrant and neon, began to show signs of wear and discoloration. The rope itself unraveled, the balls were toast, and we had to toss the toy in the trash.
Next up is the Mammoth Flossy Chews Fist Ball with Rope Ends, which is similar to the Zanies Figure-8 Rope and Tennis Ball with a knotted rope, but it does not include tennis balls. The size is just right for Georgies’s small jaws, and the varied textures promise relief for his emerging baby teeth.
The knotted rope ends quickly become Georgie’s favorite feature. It provides an excellent grip for his little paws and gives him something substantial to chew on. The satisfying resistance of the rope seems to be just what Georgie needs to alleviate the discomfort of his teething gums.
As Georgie’s teething journey progresses, so does his fondness for the Fist Ball. The rope ends show signs of wear. The natural fraying of the rope seems to add an extra layer of texture, enhancing the teething experience for our little explorer.
We stumbled upon Yak Cheese Himalayan Dog Chews through some fellow Cavalier friends, and they have quickly become a game-changer in Georgie’s teething journey.
From the moment we introduce the Yak Cheese Chew to him, it is evident that he finds immediate relief. The natural hardness of the cheese helps soothe his sore gums, and the chew’s unique texture keeps him engaged for extended periods. The fact that it is made from natural ingredients is a big plus, ensuring that Georgie isn’t exposed to any harmful chemicals during this critical stage of development.
What impresses me most is the longevity of these chews. They last days on end, making it a good value for the price in our house.
Pupford’s Himalayan Dog Chew serve as an excellent distractor during teething-related behavioral issues. Instead of gnawing on shoes or furniture, Georgie has learned to redirect his chewing instincts to the Yak Cheese Chew.
We appreciate the chew’s versatility. We can microwave the small leftover pieces to create soft, puffy treats, adding a fun and interactive element to look forward to at the end of the “bone.”
Even as an adult, Georgie still loves his Yak sticks. But, as with all toys and long-lasting treats, always supervise your dog, especially as they get to the end of the stick. You don’t want them to choke on the smaller pieces, which can be sharp.
6 Tips For Puppy Teething Toys
Caring for teething toys for puppies is essential to ensure they remain effective, safe, and free from harmful bacteria. Proper maintenance not only extends the life of the toys but also contributes to your puppy’s overall health and well-being.
Here are some tips on how to take care of teething toys for puppies:
- Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your puppy’s teething toys for signs of wear and tear. Look for frayed edges, loose threads, or any small parts that may have become detached. If you notice any damage, get rid of the toy promptly to avoid potential choking hazards.
- Cleanliness: Teething toys can accumulate bacteria over time. Clean the toys regularly to maintain hygiene. Most toys can be washed with mild soap and water. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, and ensure the toy is thoroughly dried before giving it back to your puppy.
- Rotation: Rotate your puppy’s teething toys regularly. This not only keeps your puppy engaged by providing variety but also allows you to clean and inspect each toy more frequently. It also prevents the overuse of a single toy.
- Supervision: Always supervise your puppy while they are using teething toys. This is for your dog’s safety and to help you observe any changes in the toy’s condition. If a toy is becoming too small or starts to break apart, take it away immediately and replace it.
- Proper Storage: Store your puppy’s teething toys in a clean and dry place when not in use. Avoid leaving them outside where they can be exposed to the elements, degrading the materials over time. Keeping toys in a dry, cool space also prevents them from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Interaction And Play: Engage with your puppy during playtime with teething toys. Not only does this strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend, but it also allows you to monitor their behavior and ensure safe toy-use.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your puppy’s teething toys remain safe, clean, and effective throughout their teething phase. Providing a well-maintained selection of toys contributes to a positive teething experience for your puppy while promoting good oral health.
Here’s a summary of our recommendations for the best toys for dogs that are teething:
- fabdog Plush Dog Squeak Hedgehog – Best Plush
- JW Pet Hol-ee Roller – Best Interactive
- West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Puzzle – Best Interactive Runner-Up
- Zanies Figure-8 Rope and Tennis Ball – Best Tug Of War
- Mammoth Flossy Chews Fist Ball with Rope Ends – Tug Of War Runner-Up
- Yak Cheese Himalayan Dog Chews – Tastiest Teething Treat
As your pup grows, be sure to visit our reviews of dog chew toys for adults.
Do you give your pup teething toys? Why/why not? Let me know in the comments below!Tagged With: play